Florida: Volusia County

Volusia County (pop. 494,593) is south of Flagler County. Its name’s possible origins include an Englishman named Voluz, a Frenchman named Veluche, and the Roman jurist Volusio.

The county seat of Volusia County is the city of DeLand (pop. 27,031).

The Athens Theatre (1922) now hosts the Athens Theatre Company.

The former courthouse, built in Neoclassical style in 1929, now houses county offices and an art collection.

Copper-clad dome

DeLand is the home of Stetson University (1883), Florida’s oldest private college. It was named for John B. Stetson (1830-1906), inventor of the cowboy hat.

The sports teams are known as the Hatters.

DeLand calls itself “The Skydiving Capital of the World” because of its concentration of parachute industry-related businesses.

Longtime Atlanta Braves star Larry “Chipper” Jones was born in DeLand and grew up in the area.

#1 pick in the 1990 draft

The largest city in Volusia County is Daytona Beach (pop. 61,005), home of NASCAR, the Daytona International Speedway, the LPGA, Bethune-Cookman University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Auto racing on the beach ended in 1961.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark dates from 1914. Daytona Beach was the first Florida city to allow Jackie Robinson to play in a Spring Training game, in 1946. It’s now the home of the Daytona Tortugas of the Florida State League.

Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds

The town of Ponce Inlet (pop. 3,032), south of Daytona Beach, has the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light (1887), second-tallest lighthouse in the U.S. (175 feet).

Now also a museum

The unincorporated Volusia County community of Cassadaga is known as the “Psychic Capital of the World.” It was founded in 1894 as the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp.

The city of New Smyrna Beach (pop. 22,599) has a grave in the middle of Canova Drive, dating from the 1950s.

The road goes on both sides of the grave.

In the city of Port Orange (pop. 57,207), the Last Resort Bar features memorabilia of serial killer Aileen Wuornos (1956-2002), who was arrested there in 1991. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron in “Monster” (2003).

NEXT: SEMINOLE COUNTY

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